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  • Writer's pictureThe Read Aloud Project

You're never too old to Read to a child

1. You don't have to wait for your child to get to a certain age to begin reading children's books to him. Start now!

2. Continue reading aloud to your child through elementary school. Children continue to benefit from listening to others read long after they themselves have learned to read children's books.

3. For young children, children's books with rhyme, rhythm and repetition are excellent.

4. Be consistent about reading aloud to your child. Do it daily and, if possible, about the same time every day. Reading children's books right before bedtime often works well. Be mindful if your child is very tired at night. This is not a good time for your child to be reading on his own. But it may be an okay time for reading aloud to your child.

5. If you have several small children, you can read to them together. Picture books work well for this.

6. Don't be surprised if your children want to hear a favorite children's book again and again. That's fine. As they get to really know the story well, have them fill in words for you.

7. Try to choose children's books that are above your child's reading level but at the child's interest level.

8. Some children love reading about the same characters. If that's what your child likes, choose several short books in a series or a longer chapter book. Reading a chapter a day/night works well.

9. Vary the subject matter of what you read as well as the type. In addition to fiction, you might also read poetry, magazine articles and non-fiction, fairytales, fables, science fiction, plays, etc.

10. Try to find children's books that match your child's interests. Get suggestions from the children's librarian at your school or public library. Check with a bookseller at your favorite bookstore.

11. If your children are several years apart you will need to read to them individually as they get older to ensure that each children's book you choose is at the appropriate reading and interest level for each child.

12. As your child gets older and gains in reading ability, occasionally pick a book right at her reading level and take turns reading to one another.

Tips: 1. When reading a chapter of a children's book each day/night, always review what happened in the previous chapter before starting a new chapter. 2. When you begin reading aloud to a baby, you will only be able to keep your baby's attention for a few minutes. That's to be expected. 3. As children mature, so do their attention spans.

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